Effects of Cocaine on Fetus During Pregnancy

The drug is very toxic, both for the baby as well as for the mother’s health. It should never be consumed throughout pregnancy and lactation.

Pregnancy is an act of holding responsibility. This is the first promise you make to a soul that you would guard him in this world. Do not take any toxin, addiction during this phase. This would be breaking your promise towards the innocent one who is counting on you for his protection.

Cocaine Crosses Placental Barrier

Cocaine and its metabolites are very potent and are able to cross the placental barrier. Thereby, the drug enters the baby’s circulatory system, affecting all its organs.

Effects During Early Pregnancy

When taken early during pregnancy, it increases the chances of miscarriages. During these months, the neural tube of the baby is being formed. The drug affects it adversely to cause permanent neural damages.

It may lead to detachment of the placenta from the uterine lining, a condition called abruptio placentae. This condition presents with severe bleeding and, if not arrested, may finally lead to termination of pregnancy.

Effects During Late Pregnancy

When taken late during pregnancy, the drug almost always lead to preterm labors. The baby born is weak and often the birth weight is less.  He may have a smaller head with overall restricted growth of the body.

This is because cocaine reduces the amount of blood oxygen and nutrients the baby receives. The fetus stays deprived and may even die.

The baby may be born dependent on the drug and suffer from withdrawal symptoms. After birth, he may show symptoms such as tremors, localized muscle spasms, feeding difficulties and  restlessness. He may not sleep well and be cranky. He may be irritable, not responsive and it may be difficult to establish a bond with the mother.

As he grows older, he may have difficulty focusing on a subject. Learning disabilities and attention problems soon surface up.

There may be defects in his kidney function, liver or the brain. Reproductive functions are likely to be affected and may show up as he reaches the teens.

Incidence of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) is much more in babies who have indirect consumed the drug through their mother.


It is very difficult to detoxify the baby if the drug has been taken during pregnancy. The drug crosses the placental barrier easily and adversely affects the fetus.

Completely abstain from the drug as early as possible. Also, abstain from alcohol, which holds back the drug in the body.

Drink plenty of water and fresh fruit juices. Avoid all stimulants like tea and coffee.

Fruits and vegetables (stewed and raw) are the best detoxifiers. Consume plenty of them to wash away the toxic effects of the drug.

Medical Advice (Q&As) on “Effects of Cocaine on Pregnancy

  1. Lady123

    I have a friend that is going on 29 weeks pregnant and uses cocaine sometimes heavy sometimes small amounts. If she stops now, will she and the baby test clean at birth?

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Worth trying! Leave the drug as early as possible while you are pregnant. The drug has serious side effects. She can still prevent a few of them from occurring.

      Read above in detail.

      1. lady123

        If she is 29 weeks and she was a habitual heavy user and she stops now & goes through the detox steps, what are the chances she can test clean at birth?

        1. Buddy M.D. Post author

          She’ll increase her chances if she stops the drug immediately.

          What chances; this is difficult to predict. This would depend upon the precision of the test being performed.

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      By cleaning yourself as aggressively as possible.

      Detoxification requires you to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, drink lots of water.

      Abstain from alcohol and limit on all stimulants, like tea and coffee.

  2. Fancy

    I consumed cocaine about two months ago (.03grams). I have been using regularly on the weekends probably about (1.0g) for about a month prior to my last usage. I weigh about 106lbs with a very high metabolism. I found out I was carrying baby, so I stop my consumption. Now I have an upcoming drug screen done by testing hair follicles. I’m uncertain on what to do and I would like to pass in order to keep my job. Please help I’m nervous as hell.

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      You and your unborn baby are one system. You need to clean yourself to clean the baby.

      If it was a one time use of the drug, it will take 3 to 5 days for it to be out from urine, a bit longer (7 to 10 days) to be out of blood.

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      The drug affects the developing brain adversely. It may cause mental problems in the baby.